Curtis Institute of Music faculty, renowned for training the world's finest young musicians, will teach a series of free online courses designed to enhance music appreciation among audiences around the globe.
With the February 2013 announcement, Curtis becomes the first classical music conservatory to utilize a massive open online course (MOOC) platform in partnership with Coursera, a leader in MOOC education.
Taught by Jonathan Biss (Piano '01)
Five-week course began on September 3, 2013. Watch lecture videos and join online written discussions at your convenience. Assignments have a one-week completion period.
Enrollment closed on September 10. Thank you to the 35,189 people who signed up for the course!
Add Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas to your Coursera watchlist to be notified of subsequent offerings (to be determined later in fall 2013).
About the Course
Our relationship to Beethoven is a deep and paradoxical one. For many musicians, he represents a kind of holy grail: His music has an intensity, rigor, and profundity which keep us in its thrall, and it is perhaps unequalled in the interpretive, technical, and even spiritual challenges it poses to performers. At the same time, Beethoven’s music is casually familiar to millions of people who do not attend concerts or consider themselves musically inclined. Two hundred years after his death, he is everywhere in the culture, yet still represents its summit.
The course will feature some analysis and historical background, but its perspective is that of a player, not a musicologist. Its main aim is to explore and demystify the work of the performer, even while embracing the eternal mystery of Beethoven’s music itself.
Western Music History through Performance
Seven-week course began October 1, 2013. Watch lecture videos and join online written discussions at your convenience. Multiple-choice quizzes and assignments have a one-week completion period.
Add From the Repertoire to your Coursera watchlist to be notified of subsequent offerings (to be determined later in fall 2013).
About the Course
A survey of music history begins with those works of music that convey the artistic trends, innovations, and compositional techniques representative of their time. Rather than offer a discussion of Western music focusing on a succession of composers, this course will look at key works throughout history: from early music composed more than one thousand years ago to music of our time. Through videos covering historical context and recorded performances, students will learn how Western music has developed throughout the ages into the rich and diverse repertoire that we have today.
What makes this music truly special and important? Distinguished members of the Curtis faculty will provide their unique insights. Performances by Curtis students, alumni, and faculty will enhance the learning experience by demonstrating the form and design of the material in a creative and vital way.
By the end of the course, students should be able:
- to understand a general survey of the development of Western classical music through the ages
- to better understand each piece covered and to develop the skills to do more research about these and other pieces
The first week offers an historical overview as a starting point. The remaining six weeks examine specific repertoire, with recordings of performances by Curtis students and alumni provided online. Lecture videos explore the era, the composer, and the piece, from both music history and music theory perspectives.
- Week 1: A Brief History of Notation
- Week 2: J. S. Bach, Chaconne
- Week 3: Haydn String Quartet in C major, Hob. III:32, and Mozart, String Quartet in B-flat major, K. 589
- Week 4: Beethoven, Große Fuge
- Week 5: Brahms, Two Songs, Op. 91, and Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40
- Week 6: Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire
- Week 7: George Crumb, Voice of the Whale
Online courses: Music education for all?
The New York Times
Hey, Ludwig, There’s an App for You
New York Magazine
Sign Up For Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas
The Wall Street Journal
Saving Classical Music: An App for That?
The Korea Times
Beethoven for everyone
You can now take classes from the most selective college in the country on Coursera
WHYY (90.9 FM)/Newsworks.org
Curtis' legendary reputation draws 25,000 to first online class
Free Online Course on Beethoven's Piano Sonatas
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